Shadine Ebanks-Scully from Lambeth College is our 2020 AstraZeneca STEM Student of the Year. Here, she shares how her six-week paid internship at BP and the support from her mentor, Caroline from the Financial Conduct Authority, gave her the skills, confidence, and opportunity to kickstart a rewarding future.

Before finding the Career Ready programme I felt a bit hopeless, I didn’t have any true role models and any advice from family and friends left me feeling frustrated and stuck. I never would have thought that going to university was a possibility.

Having a mentor was amazing, we came from very different backgrounds, but I learnt that it’s not about where you start from, it’s about the journey you take towards reaching your own goals. Caroline gave me the self-belief to try new things. I’d like to thank her for all of the help and support she gave me.

The team at BP really made me feel like a valued colleague during my internship. Whilst there I was able to work on employability skills like time management. I attended meetings and presented to the team, I also took calls via Skype and helped digitalise documents. Each task really built my confidence within a working environment.

I learnt a lot about BP and it’s structure. Before I started, all I knew was that it was an oil and gas company, I didn’t realise how big it was and I certainly didn’t know what a geophysicist was. I really enjoyed presenting to the geophysicist team as they were all such lovely people, I even considered studying the subject at university because I felt so inspired.

The Career Ready programme was an amazing experience from start to finish. The masterclasses, work placements and internship, I now have a completely different outlook on my career and have so many opportunities ahead of me based on what I’ve learnt.

I’ve learnt to open myself up to new things. I know now that I can benefit from taking risks rather than just staying within my comfort zone.

Discover how you can make a difference to the life of a young person like Shadine.